• Show Notes
  • Transcript

In this bonus for CAFE Insiders, Elie Honig and Safeena Mecklai take listeners behind the scenes of the sixth and final episode of this season of Up Against the Mob. They discuss why Goodfellas is the perfect film to illustrate the real-life modern day mafia, the central role of nicknames and food in mob culture, and what Elie hopes listeners take away from Season One of the podcast. 

Thank you for being a member of the CAFE Insider community.

Up Against the Mob is produced by CAFE Studios and the Vox Media Podcast Network. Subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or wherever you listen. 

Executive Producer: Tamara Sepper; Senior Editorial Producer: Adam Waller; Technical Director: David Tatasciore; Audio Producers: Matthew Billy; Composer: Nat Weiner; Editorial Producers: Noa Azulai, David Kurlander, Sam Ozer-Staton, Jake Kaplan.

Elie Honig:

Hey, everyone, Elie here. Up Against The Mob is my new CAFE podcast. We’re pleased to offer this exclusive bonus just for CAFE Insiders with me in conversation with my co-host from the Third Degree podcast, Safeena Mecklai.

Safeena Mecklai:

Hi, everyone. And welcome to the bonus episode for episode six of Up Against The Mob. My name is Safeena Mecklai and we’re joined by Elie Honig to talk about Goodfellas.

Elie Honig:

This was something that I just wanted to do. I couldn’t not do it. This movie was so important and I think so many of our fascination with the mob in the first place. And it’s like, how many people do you know, who can really give you a breakdown of Goodfellas? Like, “That’s accurate. That’s not,” like Lisa and Dan. So this episode had to be done.

Safeena Mecklai:

It was so awesome, and full disclosure to all of our listeners, and Elie already knows this, but I had never seen Goodfellas, but watched it in preparation for this. And it is officially a new favorite movie. It was so good.

Elie Honig:

I accept your gratitude and thanks. I was shocked and horrified when I found out you had not seen it, you must see it. I did have a moment of sort of mostly pride, but a little bit of like, Gosh, what kind of parent am I? When just a couple of weeks ago, my son who’s 16 said, “Dad can a couple of my friends come over?” And four or five of his friends came over. And one of them goes, “Hey, we should finish watching Goodfellas.” My son, I think, was maybe a little embarrassed. And I was like, because I showed him Goodfellas. I was like, “You got to watch this movie.” And I was like, “Go for it.” And so he is introducing it. So it is reaching another generation for better or for worse, probably for better.

Safeena Mecklai:

He’s obviously an extremely cool kid who also saw Goodfellas before me, so.

Elie Honig:

Well that’s the result of having two prosecutors as parents. And you can blame me for this one, I’ll take the fall for this one.

Safeena Mecklai:

Well, you kind of started to answer this, but why focus on Goodfellas versus any other movie about the mob in this episode?

Elie Honig:

So I think Goodfellas is just the best of these movies. And I think for my generation and younger, Goodfellas, and not The Godfather, and maybe this is heresy to say, is really the defining movie that I think has driven modern fascination with the mob. I mean, my parents and older generations, it was The Godfather and those are great, great movies, deserving of every accolade. But I also think that Goodfellas, to me, is the first modern portrayal of the mob. Because Godfather is shrouded in this theatricality and the string music. And it looks like it was filmed in days of yore, it’s set a long time ago. Even Part II, Godfather II is set right when the mafia first started coming from Sicily over to the United States.

Elie Honig:

But Goodfellas is so much more immediate. I mean, it’s set in the 80s and 90s, I guess, but it’s, or 70s and 80s, I should say. It came out in the early 90s, but it’s so much more immediate. It feels so much more like today’s world. The way the actors and the characters speak to one another feels so much more true and relatable and sort of immediate. And I think that’s the one, the people I know, I think if you sat down people in their heart of hearts and said, “Which one really made a difference to you?” Let me put it this way. If you went through the Organized Crime Unit at the SDNY, I think all of us would have said Goodfellas was the one that really made me go, “Oh my God, this is something that is, this lights me up.”

Safeena Mecklai:

That’s awesome, because it also has just a tremendous cast, great writing, the cinematography is so interesting. It’s just a fun movie to watch. And then now to have watched it in the context of, Up Against The Mob, and having learned so much about the mob, it was funny to see all of that fictionalized in this movie.

Elie Honig:

Yeah. And as we talk about in the episode, a lot of it’s really pretty accurate. I overall give it a high accuracy score. And then Lisa and Dan and I talk about the parts of it that are, and are not accurate. Obviously, it’s dramatized and it gets the full treatment, but it really does feel real to me, and a lot of it just reminded me of things that I’d seen in real life cases. So it scores high on that scale for me.

Safeena Mecklai:

But are there any other films, TV, or books that you think are particularly accurate portrayals about the mob?

Elie Honig:

So the most accurate, Goodfellas does not take the gold metal for me in terms of accuracy. The most accurate is Sopranos because, and I think I talked about this a little bit with, with Michael Visconti, but it shows the grind of being in the mob. Because there’s this notion that it’s all the Copacabana scene, where you get walked in and you go in the front row, the glamor of it. And Murray Richman and I talk about the glamor of it. And the going out to the restaurants. Jack Garcia talks about it. It’s sort of a perfect way to end the season. In fact, every guest talks about it to some extent, the glamor of the mob, and you go to the fancy dinners and you get the best seats and you get everyone kisses your butt, and everyone’s afraid of you and you drive the cars and the clothes and everything else.

Elie Honig:

But the reality is, these guys are grinding and the movies portray the most sensational episodes. And a lot of times the biggest bosses, the most successful people, but they’re a hell of a lot of mopes in the mob. And mopes is sort of a term we used to use at the US Attorney’s Office. Just meaning a schlub or to quote the Ray Liotta character in the very last line of the movie, “A Schnuck.” Like an everyday guy, who’s just grinding for a living and can’t find his next racket, and is struggling for a score. And you see that in Sopranos and you see the stress on the everyday life, the stress that Tony Soprano lives with and that his wife and his kids live with, and that uncertainty of, is something going to happen to me? Am I going to get killed? Am I going to get arrested and thrown in jail for the rest of my life? Am I going to survive in this world?

Elie Honig:

So for that reason, I think the Sopranos is the most accurate of all the portrayals. In terms of least accurate, it’s hard to say anything’s, I haven’t seen anything where I’ve been like, “That’s total BS,” putting aside some of the schlocky efforts by the Gotti family to do these ridiculous movies that get 0% critics scores on Rotten Tomatoes. Those are ridiculous and self-serving retellings of what happened, but there is this industry that’s cropping up of former mobsters going out there and trying to do their own podcast or YouTube shows, which are… People, don’t look for these because they will make you dumber. They are just these bogus, ridiculous, self-serving, inaccurate, laughable looks at the law and they have like 12 viewers each. And I’ve clicked on a couple of them, because I know some of these guys.

Elie Honig:

I had one guy who, I won’t say his name, but he was a full on cooperator, got the 5K Letter, which is the letter they get at the end, signed a cooperation agreement, gave us all sorts of information. It’s all public record. And he tries to go on his show and claim, “I never really cooperated with those guys. I didn’t really give them any information. I just pretended like I was going to, and they gave me a deal, then I walked out on it.” And I’m sitting there thinking, are you kidding me? I saw you balling with your girlfriend, begging us for mercy. So there’s a little industry that’s cropped up around that, but the movies and TV shows by and large do a pretty good job.

Safeena Mecklai:

Well, I think it’s great that in this episode, we’re literally getting to essentially sit around a TV with the three of you and get to break apart these scenes and hear what’s accurate and what’s not. I was so disappointed to learn that it was inaccurate that the entire mob family would have been waiting outside of court for Henry Hill. I loved the sweetness of that scene. So I was so disappointed about that.

Elie Honig:

It would be heartwarming, but we have these guys, these investigators, and a big part of their jobs is they would do surveillance. In the old days, they would bring these long lenses, you see it in the movie. And they would snap pictures. We talked about John Carrillo, who’s this legendary investigator who we were all close with. John would have had a heart attack, all these guys gathering on the courthouse steps. He wouldn’t have been able to photograph them fast enough. That’s a great scene. Like, “Hey, you stood up. You got your first pitch.” I do love that scene, but no, that would never, ever happen, but dramatically and cinematically, it’s fantastic.

Safeena Mecklai:

Yeah. So good. But that’s why you need three former prosecutors to tell you when something is right or not in a movie.

Elie Honig:

We try not to be buzzkills. Overall, I think we did a good job of not being buzzkills, but we got to call it out.

Safeena Mecklai:

And then I also loved hearing from Lisa that the Copacabana scene felt very accurate and that she loved it just as much as I did, so that was great too.

Elie Honig:

Murray Richman, in his episode tells the story of going out to drinks with the boss of, I think it’s the Lucchese family and Sinatra and the band struck into The Godfather theme music and all this. There is a real element of glamor to it. And Jack Garcia talks about that, how they would do whatever they want. Michael Visconti says, “I miss those days you would park on the sidewalk,” he says. But there is an adrenaline aspect to it and a glamor aspect to it. That’s very real. It’s a lot of what draws these guys into it.

Safeena Mecklai:

Well, since we’re on the Copacabana scene, something that I think Goodfellas does really well is get you familiar with this huge cast of characters. And when the movie first started, I thought, there’s no way I’m going to be able to keep track of everybody. There’s too many people. And by the end, I feel like I was getting a sense for who everyone was. And Lisa talked about using mnemonics and nicknames to keep track of people. How did you keep track of everyone? Did you study? Did you have the wall with the photos and the nicknames up somewhere in your office?

Elie Honig:

So their mob nicknames helped me a lot. It’s much easier to remember Sally Hot Dogs than Sal Battaglia. And it’s way easier to remember Matty The Horse-

Safeena Mecklai:

Where does Hot Dogs even come from? Did he just like hot dogs?

Elie Honig:

So glad you asked this, Safeena. Sal Hot Dogs Battaglia was a made guy who was also the president of a big labor union. And when the FBI agents arrested him, they asked him the exact question you just asked me. They said, “Sal, what’s what’s with Sally Hot Dogs? Why do they call you that?” You know what his answer was? “I like to eat hot dogs.” So, all right. I mean, honestly, sometimes there are no more clever, they’re not super creative. A lot of them are around food. There was one case we had a guy named Burger, another guy named Meatballs, and another guy named Mush.

Safeena Mecklai:

The theme of food on this podcast will not stop.

Elie Honig:

I know, it’s ever present. It makes me hungry, but the nicknames made it easier for me to remember who these guys were, some characteristic of Vinny The Chin, Matty The Horse. It’s just easier to remember, I guess, the mnemonics that way. And yeah, I would have those charts like you sometimes see in the movies, like the pyramid charts with the ranks and all that. The FBI would make those charts for us. And I had them all printed out, up on my wall. And occasionally, if a guy died, I would X them out. Or if a guy got promoted, I would make an arrow pointing upwards for that guy.

Elie Honig:

So just from seeing it every day, it got to be fairly encyclopedic. And the great thing is, if I didn’t know a guy, I could always just walk down the hall to John Carrillo’s office, the investigator I mentioned before and go, “You know anything about Sally Hot Dogs?” And he would go, “Yeah, his father was this guy, his uncle is this guy. He’s married to that guy, he’s with the Union.” He was just encyclopedic. So we had file cabinets, physical file cabinets, where you could just thumb through all these old photos. And they were indexed and you could look for photos of your guy standing outside the club with that guy. And you can make a lot of connections that way. It was really helpful actually.

Safeena Mecklai:

Well, you mentioned in the episode that Lisa was called the Tiny Tornado and Lisa and Dan guessed as to what your mob nickname would be. So I wanted to ask what you thought my mob nickname would be if I ever got one?

Elie Honig:

So Tiny Tornado is perfect for Lisa, as we said, because she is both of those things. And I think that was given to her by the media, if I remember right. Safeena, I’m not going to go with alliteration. For some reason, I see you as Safeena The Destroyer, if you’re a prosecutor. And I know you want to be a defense lawyer, but you can be a destroyer as a defense lawyer, you destroy prosecutors. But I don’t know, it sounds like a name of a character in a movie or something, Safeena The Destroyer. I like that. I’m going to stick with that.

Safeena Mecklai:

I love it. It’s so much better than hot dogs.

Elie Honig:

Yeah. Oh, my God. Safeena [inaudible 00:12:55] Like Safeena Kale Salad or something like that.

Safeena Mecklai:

I do love a good kale salad.

Safeena Mecklai:

Well, the other thing that I love that the three of you got to reminisce about is your time in the office together. And you talked about how Lisa was your work wife and you had these great relationships. So I’m wondering, do you have any coworkers who you worked with often? How did that kind of assignment work?

Elie Honig:

The SDNY is organized into units. Your first year, you’re in General Crimes, which is like the freshmen dorm, there’s 15 or 20 of you at a time. And you’re all in the same physical floor. It’s actually very similar to a freshman dorm. You have tiny little dank offices and that kind of thing, but that’s a heavy bonding experience. Your second year, you go into Narcotics and then you split off into any of the other units. There’s Terrorism, there’s Securities Fraud, there’s Complex Fraud, Cyber, Public Corruption, and Organized Crime. And every one of those is its own little pod, its own little click. I always felt like it was especially strong in Organized Crime, maybe because we were doing organized crime work and we had our own almost like hierarchal structure. But also because you have these bonding experiences, these crazy stories that nobody else can understand or has been through, like Lisa and Dan and I talked about.

Elie Honig:

And it’s funny, we’re all still friends. Some of these people have become well-known publicly. Preet was in Organized Crime before I was in OC. When he became US Attorney, he would come back down and share some old school stories, but guys like Joon Kim who people know who’s out there, Mimi Rocah, she’s now the Westchester DA. Dan Goldman, who people know from the impeachment. Lisa, me, Dan Chung, we were all in the unit together. We were all colleagues. We all supervised each other. Jen Rodgers, people may know from CNN. We all would get and eat lunch in the same, it wasn’t even a conference room. It was almost like a closet, every day and share these stories. And by the way, not only was that fun, but it was a great way to just learn about these guys.

Elie Honig:

You would go, “Did anyone ever do a case involving such and such?” And someone would go, “No, but I had a case once where we had his uncle, I think, on a wiretap.” You would make a lot of connections this way. And you’re really operating in a weird closed universe of the mob, where there’s a finite number of mob families and a finite number of bosses that you’re targeting and going after. And so you almost become a weird part of that world. And by the way, another thing that happens is they start talking about you on wiretaps. We did a wiretap once where they were talking about two of our FBI agents who are close friends, Mike Gayda and John Penza, I can say this, this is public. And the mobsters are like, “Yeah, those two guys Gayda and Penza, they’re all right. They’re gentlemen, they’re gentlemen. They treat you okay.”

Elie Honig:

And I was like, I don’t know if you guys should be flattered by that, or are you going to light on these guys or what? So it’s really this bizarre universe that we all inhabit. And then I guess like any bonding experience that you go through with people, especially when you’re young and in your formative years, that sticks with you for, I guess, the rest of your life.

Safeena Mecklai:

Yeah. It sounds like an incredible bonding experience. And I think it’s funny that you said that you all sort of gather in a closet to eat lunch together when you compare that to how the mobsters were probably eating lunch down the block.

Elie Honig:

Oh, totally. I guess it was not quite a closet, not quite a conference room. It was like a little anteroom, closer to a closet. Yeah, totally. We would be getting takeout from these trucks that were outside the office, and not the good kind of food trucks, the dingy kind of food trucks. It actually reminded me, I just watched another movie, The Wolf of Wall Street.

Safeena Mecklai:

I love that movie.

Elie Honig:

Right? Which I saw for the second time. And there’s the great scene where the FBI agents go on the boat to talk to Leonardo DiCaprio’s character. And he’s scoffing at them, “Oh, you guys make no money.” He throws bills at them. He’s like, “Here’s a year’s salary.” He throws lobsters at them. “You guys can’t afford this.” And he says, “When you’re taking the subway home at the end of the day, you losers…” This and that. And the movie ends with, I think it’s Kyle Chandler’s the actor, who’s the FBI agent. And they’ve just busted all the crooked financier’s and the FBI agent character is taking the subway home and he’s looking around and it’s not the most glamorous setting, but he has this look of satisfaction on his face. And I totally related to that feeling of, Yeah, all right. I take Jersey Transit home, I’m going to eat takeout burgers from the shack and you guys are living the life, but guess who’s going to end up in jail and guess who’s going to end up very satisfied with the work that we do? So I definitely related to that scene in another movie.

Safeena Mecklai:

I love that. And I also love the idea of you all sitting in the conference room, overhearing these wiretaps and these conversations and trying to decode some of what you’re hearing. You talked a little bit about this with Lisa and Dan, but it sounds like one, you all had to work together to decode what they were saying. And then two, you had to work together to translate that for a jury who was then hearing those conversations. Can you talk about the process of decoding the puzzle and then translating that back to the jury?

Elie Honig:

Yeah, that is a really important thing. We spent a lot of time listening to recordings, whether they’re phone wiretaps or in-person recordings, like in the Visconti episode, we played some of those. Where someone in the crew was wearing a wire. And I can’t tell you how many times we would listen to these tapes on our computers. And there was actually a thing you could plug into your computer. It was a foot pedal, like a gas or a brake pedal on your car that you could use to fast-forward, rewind or pause the tape. And I developed an overdeveloped right calf muscle from constantly, pause, rewind, pause, rewind. And you would listen to these and you would try to strain to hear what they were talking about and to decode them. Sometimes they would just be like, “This guy, that guy, that guy with the thing, and the thing with that guy and the other guy,” you would have, like, “What the heck are they talking about?”

Elie Honig:

I remember one time that they were constantly referring to M’s, M’s, M’s. And we were like, “What are they talking about with M’s? Is it something that begins with the letter M or is it money or something?” And then an FBI agent who really understood this world, listened to it. I said, “What are they talking about?” He goes, “Oh, Em’s. That’s what they call Emily’s. It’s the bar that they meet at.” And I was like that. “Okay. I got it. Now, I got it. Thank you.” But one of the things that we had to do is explain these tapes for the jury. Because it was rare, more often when you got a guy wearing a body wire, because guys are less guarded when they think they’re talking to a friend they don’t know he’s wearing, than on the phone. On the phone, these guys say next to nothing, they’re all smart enough to go, “The guy with the thing,” or, “We need to talk,” or whatever, but in person, their guard is down a little bit, but you need a cooperator to really explain that to a jury.

Elie Honig:

Okay. “When they refer to the thing with the mozzarella,” that was actually a thing. “What that was was, we were shaking down this guy who was importing mozzarella, and here’s how it worked.” Again, food. Sorry, but so you need a cooperator, there’s nothing better than playing a tape for the jury. And having a cooperator on the stand and being able to pause it and go, “Okay, let’s go back to the front. Now, in this line where the defendant says such and such, what did that mean?” Or, “What did you mean?” Sometimes the cooperator was part of the conversation, having them be able to turn to the jury and go, “Okay, here, what we’re talking about is such and such. And the guy we’re talking about is Vinny Carwash.” That was another, speaking of mob nickname, guess where he worked by the way? At a carwash. But you will never have a jury more wrapped than you have a cooperator explaining what they’re hearing on a tape.

Safeena Mecklai:

I imagine that cooperators were your best translators. Are there experts in mob talk that you can use or are they all former mobsters?

Elie Honig:

This is actually interesting. I departed from the book a little bit in this. I think I changed the way we did this, because what you used to do is call an FBI agent, like a veteran FBI agent, or a guy like John Carrillo, who I mentioned, who was encyclopedic about the mob. And they would testify as an expert on the mob. And they would say, “Here are the ranks. Here’s some of the terminology that they use. When they say a score, they’re referring to a robbery. When they say someone gets whacked, that refers to a murder.” There was two problems with that. One, was Legal. The Second Circuit, the Court of Appeals started to not like that. They didn’t ever reverse us, but they basically started to say, “Guys, prosecutors, you’re getting a little close to the line here, because an expert is allowed to testify about independent knowledge, but it’s starting to hit a little too close to the specific facts of your case. They’re starting to cross the line from expert witnesses, into fact witnesses, and it’s not fair.”

Elie Honig:

And I was convinced that we will get reversed on that at some point. The other thing is, it’s way more effective for the jury to hear it from a cooperator than to hear it from John Carrillo. Now, you may say, “Why? Cooperators are criminals. John Carrillo is a great guy who’s an established cop.” And I think the reason is, it’s more real, because John would just say, “Well, based on my years of experience and based on my study of the mob.” And there’s always an exception they can always be cross-examined on. “Well, you said usually it’s this, but it isn’t necessarily. Isn’t there examples where it’s been the opposite?” And he would have to say, “Yeah, it’s not always that.”

Elie Honig:

It’s so much more effective to put a Michael Visconti on the stand to say, “Look, I use this expression with the crew. When we talked about that, here’s what we meant.” You know what I mean? “When we talked about the contractor, we were talking about the guy we were shaking down. When we talked about the thing with the coffee pot, we were talking about when we smashed the glass coffee pot over his head. I know because I was there.” To me, that was much more convincing. And so I stopped calling the expert witnesses. And I actually don’t know if they continued to go with my school of thought or went back to the old school, but I think I converted enough of the people I supervised, like Dan and Lisa, that it was better to do it that way.

Safeena Mecklai:

I buy your method. I think it makes a lot more sense to hear it from a peer, especially when the codes are social, they’re like a cultural convention. So it feels like you want to hear from the source, what they mean, rather than hearing some external person who can translate it for you.

Elie Honig:

Yeah, absolutely. It just hits much harder. It’s more engaging for the jury. And you’re not going to end up with appellate problems either, which matters.

Safeena Mecklai:

I guess we are at the end of our bonus episode. So I want to end on a question about what this show is doing. And you talk about in this episode that, for some cooperators, when they flip, it feels like they want the attention. They crave an opportunity to tell their stories, but Lisa also talked about in the episode, being frustrated or worried that sometimes telling these stories can glorify some of the violence of the mob. And I’m wondering as we’re ending these bonus episodes, what’s your hope with this show, about the story that we’re telling here and what do you hope that people learn?

Elie Honig:

That is a great question. I want people to understand what this is really about. And the, this is really two things. One is the mafia, the real world of the mafia. The real human element of it, the real toll that it takes on, not just the victims, but the people who are part of it. The complexities of it, the nuance of it, the dynamic of it. We all have an idea of what a cooperator’s like, but I don’t think you can understand that until you’ve heard someone like Michael Visconti tell his life story. We all probably have our notions of what a mob lawyer is like, but I don’t think you can really understand that until you’ve heard from Murray Richman and what his career was like and what he struggles with and what satisfaction he gets, or maybe what it’s like to be a mob prosecutor. And I think people would need to hear that from me.

Elie Honig:

And I think more generally, broader stroke, I love teaching people and showing people what the criminal justice process is really like, because too often we get a sanitized version of it, a glorified version of it, or maybe a gorified version of it in some respects. I think that when people understand what it’s really like and hear the real voices, I think you’re much more likely to have your interests sparked. Particularly a young person who’s thinking about what they want to do in their lives. For me, the experience that really made me want to become a lawyer and a prosecutor is when I worked as a public defender in college. I did a semester as a public defender and I got to go into jails and watch trials and see what it was really like. And again, see that human element of it. And that’s what really sparked me.

Elie Honig:

And so I hope people, obviously, this is meant to be entertaining. And it doesn’t matter how old you are or where you are in life or what you ever want to do, it’s meant to be entertaining. But I also do hope that people can get a better understanding of the realities of our criminal justice process and what it’s all about. And I should say, to that effect, I know everybody is wondering, season one, are we going to have season two? Yes. Yes, we are. We are going to have season two. Up Against The Mob will be back. I don’t want to say too much about it this time, but it will be as good and better than season one.

Safeena Mecklai:

Well, I’m sure that our listeners are thrilled to hear that. And that is a great way to end the bonus episodes for season one. Thank you for this incredibly nuanced, educational, and I think, super fun podcast. And I can’t wait for next season.

Elie Honig:

Thank you. You’ve now earned your button as they stay in mob. I can interpret that for you.

Safeena Mecklai:

Thank you. [inaudible 00:26:45].

Elie Honig:

That means you’re a made guy on this side, on our side of things.

Safeena Mecklai:

Nice.

Elie Honig:

Thanks, Safeena. I appreciate it. It was great.

Safeena Mecklai:

Thanks, Elie.

Elie Honig:

That’s it for this episode of Up Against The Mob. If you like what you heard, please rate and review the show on Apple Podcasts or wherever you listened. Every positive review helps new listeners to find the show. And as always, please send us your thoughts or questions to letters@cafe.com.

Elie Honig:

Up Against The Mob is presented by CAFE and the Vox Media Podcast Network. I’m your host, Elie Honig. The Executive Producer is Tamara Sepper. The Senior Producer is Adam Waller. The Technical Director is David Tatasciore. Music is by Nat Weiner. The CAFE team is Matt Billy, David Kurlander, Sam Ozer-Staton, Noa Azulai and Jake Kaplan. Special thanks to Nate White for his help with the research. And special thanks to my interviewer, Safeena Mecklai. I’m Elie Honig and this is Up Against The Mob.

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The Real Goodfellas